Odell Beckham Jr. is the real deal.
All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman told the rookie wide receiver as much following the New York Giants' 38-17 loss on Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Beckham, the 12th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, posted seven catches for 108 yards with the vocal leader of Seattle's vaunted secondary tracking him for much of Sunday's game.
As a sign of respect, the two met after the final whistle and exchanged jerseys.
"We didn't look and say, 'We're going to throw it at Sherman,'" Beckham said later of the Giants' game plan. "It was just whoever was on that side and whatever play we called…It didn't really matter who it was. When you go up against a great defense like that, you can't just sit back and not try to attack anything. You have to go at them. I think we did a great job of that tonight. We didn't execute as well in the second half."
En route to his second straight 100-yard performance (he had 156 last week against Indianapolis), Beckham racked up 92 yards in the first half, the bulk of which came late in the first quarter on a 44-yard pass from Eli Manning in which the LSU product made a double move to get behind Sherman. Two plays later he hauled in another 26-yard gain, setting up Andre Williams' three-yard touchdown run to give the Giants a 14-7 lead at the time.
But in a game that was tied heading into the fourth quarter, the offense stalled and was shut out in the second half while Seattle scored 24 unanswered points.
One of the major turning points was an interception by Seahawks safety Earl Thomas in the closing seconds of the third quarter. From Seattle's 39-yard line, Manning launched a pass intended for Beckham, who was covered tightly by Sherman in the end zone. Beckham did all he could to get a hand on the ball but tipped it into the hands of Thomas, who returned it back to Seattle's 42. The Seahawks capitalized off the takeaway and turned it into a touchdown on the ensuing possession to take a lead that they would not relinquish.
"[Odell] Beckham is a great player, so they had to depend on him and take risks and take shots in games like this," Sherman said after the game. "He was able to get one earlier, which was a great play by him."
"Thirteen is a great player," Thomas said of Beckham, who wears No. 13. "They tried to move him in the slot, the Z receiver, and the X receiver just to get him open. He did a great job making big plays for them."
The praise for Beckham didn't end with the "Legion of Boom." His play also caught the attention of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
"I thought Beckham was really good," said Carroll, who has been the coach of Seattle since 2010. "He really came out of there and he was the big factor early on, and then [secondary coach] Kris [Richard] and [defensive passing game coordinator] Rocky [Seto] and those guys made a couple of adjustments, and he really quieted down with some nice things in there to keep him from having his opportunities. I thought that he showed that he was a really good football player today, and they've got a great one in that kid."
photos that tell the story of Sunday's loss to the Seahawks